Egusi is one the most widely consumed soups in Nigeria, it’s prepared by most tribes. Egusi is ground up shelled melon seed. Its dry milled and combined with a little water to form a paste. The paste is then combined with seafood and cows meat to make the soup.
Egusi is traditionally served with a starch. Possible starch options include Iyan (Pounded yam), Garri (fermented cassava), elubo (fermented yam) or semolina. The vegetable used in egusi preparation is also very important, it goes a long well in defining the taste of the soup. Great choices are tete (calallo), spinach, ugu (fluted pumpkin leaf), ewuro (bitter leaf), Gbure (water leaf), amunututu (malabar spinach), kale, collard and or scent leaf (efirin).
The main factor that set Yoruba style egusi soup apart is the presence of clumps/lumps . According to my grandmother, egusi is just as delicious as meat in this lumpy form. There are different methods to getting and retaining lumps in the soup, I will be using the frying method which happens to be most straightforward . Yoruba style egusi is also cooked with stew base (sans tomato) and contains iru. The recipe can be modified without these ingredients.
- 1/4 cup groundnut oil*
- 1 cooking spoon palm oil
- 1 cup ground egusi
- 1 cup chopped spinach
- 1/2 cup pepper sauce
- 2 bouillon cubes (Maggi)
- 1 tablespoon crayfish powder
- 1 teaspoon salt (to taste)
- 1 tablespoon locust beans
- 1/4 cup ede (Dried shrimps) (Optional)
- Precooked meat and fish – choice quantity
Combine the egusi with 2 table spoons of water, mix until you have a thick paste
Set a medium sized pot on medium heat, add in the groundnut oil. With a teaspoon, ball up the egusi mixture and drop into the oil. fry for 3 minutes.
Add 1.5 (one and half) cups of water into the fried egusi, cover and bring to a rolling boil.
Break up the egusi lumps into smaller bite size pieces (optional)
Add other ingredients apart from chopped vegetable. Cover and simmer on medium heat for 10-12mins.
Stir the egusi carefully, taste and adjust for salt. Add in the vegetable. simmer for another 3 minutes.
Serve your egusi with Amala, Eba, White rice or pounded Yam. Enjoy!!!